Differences in toll-like receptor ligand-induced cytokine concentrations before and after solid organ transplantation: A prospective, observational cohort study in a clinical setting

Abstract

Reliable methods to assess immune function after solid organ transplantation (SOT) are needed to guide dosing of immunosuppression. We hypothesized that toll-like receptor ligand-induced cytokine concentrations would decrease post-transplantation due to the use of immunosuppressive medication. Furthermore, we hypothesized that induced cytokine concentrations pre-transplantation would be higher in recipients with episodes of acute rejection post-transplantation due to underlying immunological dispositions. We aimed to investigate toll-like receptor ligand-induced cytokine concentrations by TruCulture©, a standardized immunoassay, in SOT recipients before and 3 months after SOT and explored associations with methylprednisolone-treated acute rejections. We conducted a prospective, observational cohort study including 123 participants (67 liver, 32 kidney and 24 lung transplant recipients). Whole blood was stimulated for 22 h with: (A) Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), (B) Resiquimod, (C) Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) and (D) a blank control. Cytokine concentrations (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-17A, IFN-α and IFN-γ) were measured by Luminex. 30 participants developed methylprednisolone-treated acute rejection at a median of 9 days (IQR 5-17) post-SOT. We found that all induced cytokine concentrations decreased post-SOT except from LPS-induced and Poly I:C-induced IL-10. The induced cytokine concentration pre-transplantation did not differ in recipients with or without acute rejection. In conclusion, the induced cytokine concentrations decreased for all stimuli post-SOT, except the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Importantly, recipients developing early acute rejection did not differ in induced cytokine concentrations pre-SOT. Thus, the use of a standardized assay in SOT is feasible in a clinical setting and may provide important information on the immune function post-SOT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13337
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Volume99
Issue number2
ISSN0300-9475
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • functional immune assay
  • immunology
  • TLR
  • transplantation
  • TruCulture©

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